Guest contributor: Nate Stevens on his 2000 BMW M Coupe
The first generation BMW M Coupe is, hands down, one of our favorite cars of any era. Nate Stevens, a photographer in Indiana, recently spoke to us and shared some photos of his recently acquired example. We can only hope to someday own one this nice. Can anyone say ‘future classic’?
MCB: Why the M Coupe?
NS: It’s a car I’ve always been drawn to for some reason. It’s not a car that people are on the fence about; you either love it or you hate it. I just happen to be one of those with a soft spot for the ‘clown shoe’.
Its relative rarity also played into my decision. It definitely isn’t a car you see every day and I enjoy that certain exclusivity factor of showing up at a car event and knowing almost certainly that I won’t see another car there that’s like it.
MCB: How did you find it?
NS: When my search first began my criteria was that it had to be RWD, quicker than my Acura Integra (easily accomplished), and be a nice, comfortable driver with all the amenities my Integra lacked: power windows and locks, working AC, etc.
By default, I started my hunt for an AP1 (1999–2003) Honda S2000, which is another fine car. I wasn’t having much luck with the search when one day, while discussing the topic of finding a new car with a good friend of mine, he informed me that his old roommate still had his M Coupe and that he’d probably sell it to me “since he never drives the thing”. He tells me it just sits in his garage collecting dust since he’s afraid of getting door dings and scratches and so on. In his three years of ownership he had only put 3,000 miles on it. I figured I’d give it a shot and check out the car. I instantly fell in love and made him an offer on the car. Less than a week later the keys were mine.
MCB: What’s it like to own?
NS: It’s unlike anything I could have imagined, really. Not so much with my own interactions with the car but from the reactions I get from people on the street. I regularly get complimented on the car and asked what kind of car it is. That kind of thing happens nearly every day. I’m not accustomed to owning a vehicle that’s immediately recognizable and brings with it so many strong reactions.
MCB: What makes you love this car?
NS: I love its distinctive styling— it’s impossible to mistake it for anything else. The wide stance and huge hips. The trademark BMW straight-six engine note. These things instantly bring a smile to my face every time I reach into my pocket for the key. I don’t think that will ever get old.
The way it corners and accelerates are also second to nothing I’ve driven or ridden in previously. It may not be the most powerful car on the road, but it more than holds its own.
MCB: What can a person expect to pay?
NS: It varies a lot by year, with the later S54B32 models fetching the highest dollar amounts. The amount I paid for the 2000 car that I have – with the earlier S52B32 and the mileage that it has – was significantly less than the current market value, which had a large hand in my ultimate decision to purchase the car.
MCB: What else have you owned? And what would you like to own in the future?
NS: I’ve owned a few cars ranging from the Integra I’ve owned (and continue to own) for the last 7 years to an ’85 GTI I wish I had never sold. As far as the future goes it’s hard to tell. I’ll see how I enjoy being back in another Euro before thinking about the next one.
Images © Nate Stevens